One of the great advantages of food trucks is that owners are on the truck daily. This brings a tight bond between the owner and their hungry patrons. Since many of us only get that small time between ordering and grabbing our food, I wanted to help bring us together. That’s when I got the idea, Behind The Wheel. Gets me back to telling the story and further enjoying – being around food trucks. This week I highlight Sōl Tacos.
Jump into your Delorean powered by Doc Brown’s science, you can travel back to the food truck business model’s beginnings. It was here taco trucks roam the streets bringing their recipes to the asphalt masses. While some may deem these the “Dark Ages” the time before the food innovators stepped in, the taco truck for many is their first impression of a food truck. Schaumann is taking this retro concept and rolling forward the food odometer to present, sophisticated tastes. While the concept of layering a tortilla has not changed, the ideas inside have.
Schaumann’s menu is simple in variety (usually 4 to 5 items), but the complexity will stop a food enthusiast in their tracks. He grabs local ingredients whenever possible and uses herbs planted in his herb garden. His focus on local was evidenced when he bought local Vidalia onions at a farmer’s market and used them at a later event.
Getting to know Schaumann is a great experience (I’m using the present, because I constantly learn something new about him). He’s super focus on cooking that when you think he’s not listening to you, he responds as though the conversation is the only thing going on. I also like his bond with his team, which I think helps during busy events like the downtown rodeos.
Why did you get into the food truck business?
Schaumann comes from many years working at Vivace (both Charlotte and Raleigh). However, he didn’t enter the scene from a culinary school. Schaumann’s intellect and studying English in college helped develop the foundations to become a chef. Every time I talk to him, he’s recommending me to read a book or telling me about a book that built the foundation of his culinary career.
Even with open kitchen concepts, where gawkers can feel more connected with their food or see the process, Schaumann still felt disconnected. The reason he likes to cook and serve food is for the people and to see their reaction to the food. And so he decided it was time to get closer to those eating his creations and got a truck.
Do you want to open a restaurant?
In short, yes. One thing is for certain Schaumann is not short of ideas and each idea has gotten immediate approval from my stomach. What concept will we see first, we all will have to wait.
What would you like to see on the menu?
One idea he has tossed around in our conversations is a sandwich. The way he’s described them to me was close to a torts. What’s difficult is everyone claims a favorite on the menu, but he wants to add different items to the menu. He keeps the menu fresh by keep the basics of the menu item, but changes some of the secondary ingredients.
What do you do for the community?
One thing Schaumann does is bring awareness to events. His first event was help Cary Creative Center Raise the Roof Campaign when they organized a few rodeos near their location. He has also helped Mount Zion’s Haitian relief efforts. One thing you will always hear from him is “I’m a Cary boy,” and supports his neighborhood when ever he gets the chance.
What are some of your hobbies?
Schaumann loves the adrenaline rush. I’ve never seen someone go through a Sugar Free Red Bull as fast as him. Twitter followers will know he loves to skateboard showing off boards and battle scars from shredding.
Want to follow them?
Looking for more Sōl Tacos, before I started the Behind The Wheel series I wrote Sol_Tacos: Farm to Fork to Stomach.